September 28, 2016
Dear Booze News Readers:
In June 2013, Christina Schoppert began Community Law Center’s Booze News blog as a summer project, tracking promised changes after the devastating 2013 Legislative Audit of the Baltimore City Liquor Board. At the end of the summer, I took over the project from Christina, at the time not knowing a hardship extension from a sale to minors violation. From the time I first stepped into Room 215, on August 15, 2013, I have been surprised, dismayed, heartened, and fascinated – sometimes all at once! – by what has played out before me in City Hall through four very different administrations.
We had hoped to receive at least one more year of grant funding to continue the work that Booze News started back in 2013. Though we have all seen significant improvements, some of which were unthinkable in 2013, there is still a great deal left to improve at this agency. Unfortunately, we were not awarded that funding, so Booze News will need to change its scope.
I will continue to attend Liquor Board hearings, though I will not be posting weekly. I will, however, continue the Booze News spotlight posts, about once per month, focusing on a specific establishment and the agency’s regulatory response, which we began with Miller’s Liquors. We hope to still cover some of the ground that we had intended to do with grant funding this year: looking beyond what happens at public hearings to examine the behind-the-scenes decisionmaking processes, public health goals, and tangible outcomes of the Board’s work.
If you would like to give to Community Law Center to help cover this funding shortfall, we would so appreciate it! Click here for our donate page.
I’m going to open the comments below – do you have a favorite Booze News post? A particularly shocking, funny, or otherwise interesting hearing? How has Booze News helped you in your community in Baltimore (or elsewhere?)? Please leave it below or feel free to email me, if you like, at beckyw AT communitylaw DOT org. Thank you for all of your support over the past three years.
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